Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint as an Educational Platform
Crosby, Kenneth M.
Kahn, Russell; Thesis Adviser
Schneider, Steven; Second Thesis Adviser
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Subjectandragogy; social constructivist learning theory; online learning; learning platforms; Microsoft Sharepoint; Office 365; online training
This study looks at social constructivist learning theory and andragogy as a means of evaluating Microsoft Office 365® and SharePoint® as a platform for delivering online classes in the basic use of SharePoint to an audience of adult learners (New York State employees). The already wide access within New York State agencies to Office 365 and SharePoint makes it a good candidate for examination. If successful, online learning utilizing Office 365 would help to eliminate the geographical and existing software barriers to delivering occupational training to the more than 130,000 employees. Social constructivist and andragogical learning theories were examined, and key elements identified to establish criteria to aid in evaluating Office 365, and potentially other platforms not specifically geared toward online education. Means of facilitating reflection, metacognition, sociocultural learning, prior and authentic experiences, and generative learning strategies were looked for in addition to support of Malcolm Knowles’ andragogical assumptions. Through prototyping and pilot testing of Office 365’s functionality and features, several affordances were able to be made in support of criteria gathered from the literature review. Areas of strength and weakness as a platform for the delivery of online learning were identified in this process. Its success would vary based on the type of learning. Technical courses and corporate training would be more successful than a soft-skill or creative subject. Out of the box SharePoint provides most of the needed functionality to deliver content but, lacks elements such as a grading system.
A Master's Project submitted to the College of Arts and Sciences at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Utica NY in partial fulfillment of the Master's of Science Degree.